Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Single Entendre

I would like to set things straight before I proceed. I have never been a communist nor have I ever even agreed with any of its dictums. I am a liberal and very definitely to the left of centre.
But this does not mean that I do not listen to or read or admire conservatives of note. Two I admired and had the luck to photograph were William F. Buckley and William Safire. I have also read and l liked the way George Will writes.

I also loved the sense of humour of Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (Illinois) during the 60s. I am sure he did not have a speech writer.

Today in my NY Times I noticed (ever more as I am beginning to like The Times Insider on Page 2) an essay about William Safire by David W. Dunlap called Paid Manipulator’ in 1973, Pulitzer Prize Winner in 1978. Read it here

The Times Insider as the name suggests is all about the lesser known stuff that happens inside the newsroom of a very good newspaper.

With the polarization in Canada, the United States and in Argentina where in all cases one side wants to see the other side fail I appreciate the pragmatism that Buckley and Safire projected in their essays (and books) with a vivid and intelligent use of the English language, something that is sadly missing these days.

I must also add that my interest in the the English language, its words and even their relationship to my native Spanish are all due to years of reading Safire’s On Language.

Before Safire stopped writing for the NY Times his column had guests writers. Few would know (I know!) that Vancouver’s  Taras Grescoe wrote one! Here it is.